Thanks to a dominant defensive performance, IU's water polo team picked up its first top-10 win of the season this weekend at the Santa Clara Invitational.
The Hoosiers recorded 10 steals on the defensive end, and senior defender Kelly Matthews scored a hat trick as IU knocked off tenth-ranked UC Davis 8-5 on Saturday night.
IU went 4-0 in the tournament, beating Sonoma State 16-2 in the opener Saturday afternoon for their biggest win of the season. Matthews scored another hat trick, while five Hoosiers scored two goals apiece.
Senior goalkeeper Jessica Gaudreault was dominant in the goal as she picked up nine saves in three quarters of play. Other defensive standouts came from Matthews, senior center Jennifer Beadle and junior defender Karrie Kozokar, as they racked up three steals each.
In the second game against No. 10 UC Davis, IU got off to a blazing-hot start as they took a 4-0 lead behind an early hat trick from Beadle by the end of the first quarter. UC Davis fought back in the second and closed the lead to 6-3 by halftime.
IU kept UC Davis off the scoreboard again in the third quarter, and sophomore driver Megan Abarta’s goal stretched IU’s lead to 7-3. The Hoosiers withstood a late mini rally in the fourth to pick up the 8-5 victory and move to 2-0 on the weekend.
On Sunday afternoon, IU ran into a little trouble with the hosts, Santa Clara, in their third game of the tournament. After scoring two goals apiece in the first quarter, Santa Clara outscored IU 3-1 in the second frame to take a two-goal lead into halftime.
IU battled back in the third quarter behind three unanswered goals from senior utility player Sarah Young and hung on during a back-and-forth final quarter to come away with the 8-7 victory.
IU closed its weekend with a 13-4 win over Cal State Monterey Bay on Sunday evening. Young led the way again for the Hoosiers as she tallied four goals, which put her over the 100-goal mark for her career. Beadle, Abarta and sophomore attacker Joelle Nacouzi all scored two goals in the clinical performance from IU.
IU will play again this weekend as they host the Indiana Classic at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center. To kick off the weekend, IU will play Hartwick in its first CWPA match-up of the season.
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